Pacific Highway GM Bob Higgins, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on a tour of the construction site of the new Harwood Bridge.
Pacific Highway GM Bob Higgins, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on a tour of the construction site of the new Harwood Bridge. Jarrard Potter

OUR SAY: Contractor dispute exposes flaws in highway upgrade

THERE is something seriously wrong with the delivery partner model created to manage the construction of the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway.

Former NSW roads minister Duncan Gay touted the model, pinched from the 2012 London Olympics, thus in 2014:

"Under this new model, a major provider with design, building and management expertise will be engaged to oversee the project in collaboration with Roads and Maritime's Pacific Highway Office, managing multiple contracts for professional services, supply, and building of the highway.

"The delivery partner model will offer better value for money and drive project efficiencies."

Except it hasn't.

Somehow the upper echelons of this model have managed to soak up $7.5million which should have filtered down to the mum and dad contractors who have completed work on the highway for which they have not been paid.

The collapse of Ostwald Brothers last year has revealed flaws in the accountability needed to justly oversee the project.

The major companies have been in a court case, the new Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, the current NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey and the RMS have promised to help.

But no one has put up a hand and said "the buck stops here".


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